A Charter to help you
The Chancellor is likely to announce the general approach towards a Charter for HMRC in the Budget this Wednesday. We hope that he recognises that the first draft suggested by HMRC is more of an HMRC Charter than a People’s Charter. If people on the Clapham Omnibus thought about these things, they might prefer the LITRG suggestion below to the HMRC version.
We commented in an earlier article that we did not like the proposed HMRC Charter very much.
In our work, we come into contact with many people on low incomes who do their best but struggle in their dealings with HMRC. Very often it is not easy. They need all the help and support that they can get. A Charter is no panacea, but it is capable of setting the spirit of the relationship that should exist between HMRC and its “customers”. It should help the users of HMRC’s services and point the way to the support they often need.
The final Charter when announced needs to make the citizen feel it is their Charter and not something imposed upon them grudgingly by HMRC and orientated more towards HMRC’s needs.
A Charter is not an easy thing to draft, but we felt that if we were going to be critical of what HMRC had produced we should try and come up with something better. So we have produced a LITRG version, which we hope that the people we deal with on a daily basis will feel more at home with. It meets the HMRC criteria of fitting on one page. As the Chancellor will say on Wednesday “I commend it to the House”.
- Work with you so that you pay us, and receive from us, the correct amounts.
- Use our powers reasonably and treat you as honest; but bring to account those who act dishonestly.
- Treat you fairly and with respect, and we will recognise your right to privacy.
- Provide you with the right help and with explanations you can understand, taking into account your needs.
- Work with you to minimise your costs in dealing with us.
- Make it easy for you to contact us and use our services in ways that suit you, recognising your right to be represented by someone else.
- Provide a prompt, professional service, concluding matters as quickly as possible.
- Use your feedback to improve our services.
- Work with other government bodies to join up our services, making them easier for you to use.
HMRC expects you to:
- Be honest and open, and work with us to make sure we have all relevant information from you to help us to get things right.
- Make returns and claims with care, to the best of your ability, knowledge and belief.
- Make returns and payments on time, but to contact us quickly if you are having difficulty.
- Respect our staff, treating them in the same way as you want them to treat you.
- Contact us when you need help, advice, or information, and to tell us if you have particular needs.
HMRC will publish and make easily accessible to everyone:
- Service standards that have been developed in consultation with our customers for all parts of our business and report annually our performance against them.
- Our data protection policy explaining how we keep your information safe and secure and how you can access information we hold about you.
- Our disability, accessibility and equality standards and report annually our performance against them.
- Our review, dispute and complaints processes and how you can appeal to an independent tribunal.
Contact Name: John Andrews (Tel: 0844 579 6700 Fax 0844 579 6701)